Legal industry calls for casual workplace

Typically considered a more formal profession, an increasing number of lawyers are now saying they want a relaxed environment.

Legal industry calls for casual workplace
In yet another sign of changing times, one of the most stereotypically formal sectors has expressed a desire to embrace a more casual environment.

In a nation-wide survey commissioned by Robert Half Legal, nearly half of Canadian lawyers (46 per cent) said they prefer a casual working setting compared to a more formal one.

Over 150 lawyers were asked, "In general, do you prefer a more formal or casual work environment?" Their responses:

Much more formal – 6 per cent

Somewhat more formal – 26 per cent

Neither formal nor casual – 22 per cent

Somewhat more casual – 43 per cent

Much more casual – 3 per cent

Don’t know – 1 per cent

(The responses don’t total 100 per cent due to rounding)

Charles Volkert, senior district president of Robert Half Legal, said employers may have to rethink their traditional policies if they want to attract and retain key talent.

"In today's competitive job market, employers are using creative strategies to recruit and retain legal professionals, including adopting a less formal work environment that reflects a business casual dress code and offers a comfortable physical workspace to encourage team collaboration," he said.

As well as making employers more attractive to employees and potential recruits, Volkert said an update could also benefit the wellbeing of workers and improve overall performance.

"A more relaxed workplace can reduce stress, foster creativity and ultimately enhance productivity and job satisfaction,” he said.

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